Recent Why SERVPRO Posts
Helping People Rebuild After a Natural Disaster
Flooding from storm
When Mother Nature unleashes her fury in North Atlanta, GA, a catastrophic loss is an unimaginable situation no one wants to find themselves in. Unfortunately, flooding or storm damage can devastate an entire community. While at first it may seem that recovery is impossible, SERVPRO’s Disaster Recovery Teams are ready to mobilize to help people rebuild and get back to normal life.
Safety before, during and after the storm is vital. Once it subsides and everyone is safe, a first inclination may be to access the damage while waiting for help to arrive. Before doing so, consider the following to ensure everyone’s safety:
- Stay up to date on the latest news. Some areas may not be safe to travel through. Tap water may also be contaminated.
- Structural damage or gas leaks are likely outcomes when there is a catastrophic loss.
- Do not enter any structures until it has been verified safe to enter.
- Electrical hazards should be a top concern. Along with downed power lines, if water has entered the home, it may have affected electrical circuits and equipment. If safe to do so, turn the power off at the main source.
- Any kind of flooding can result in black water. It is best to avoid any standing waters. Wear protective clothing, goggles, boots and gloves if you decide to enter the water.
After the professionals arrive and a property has been deemed safe to enter, cleanup and rebuilding can happen. In large loss situations, the process can take time. SERVPRO’s disaster teams are elite, highly trained and experienced professionals who will make the process go as smooth as possible. They will provide the assessment, cleanup and restoration services needed in the fastest amount of time possible to make the disaster a distant memory.
As its name implies, a catastrophic loss can suddenly turn your world upside down. No matter the type of disaster, remember that you aren’t alone. Disaster specialists will quickly arrive to help you through the process.
Understanding How Fire Sprinkler Systems Work
Fire sprinkler system in a Dekalb, GA building
A fire in your Dekalb, GA, business can cause serious damage. Fortunately, a fire sprinkler can help minimize the fire damage.
How the Sprinkler System Works
Sprinkler systems are very effective, in part, because they are so simple. Here's how they work:
- Heat activates the sprinkler.
- The sprinkler releases water to control the fire.
- The fire department turns off the sprinkler after the fire is fully extinguished.
Sprinkler systems may have slight variations, but most work in essentially the same way. Heat, usually between 135 and 165 degrees Fahrenheit, causes a special material in the sprinkler head to expand. When this happens, the bulb, inside the sprinkler, breaks and the sprinkler releases water. Only the bulbs exposed to the high temperatures break. The water comes through a pipe that is connected to an outside water source. Due to the rapid response of modern sprinkler systems, they have excellent fire-suppression capabilities. However, it is still important to contact your local fire department. They will ensure that the fire has been fully extinguished and the building is safe to enter. They will also turn off the fire sprinkler system once it is safe to do so.
How To Clean Up Afterwards
Unfortunately, all fire-suppression techniques result in at least some water damage. With a sprinkler system, though, the water damage is usually less severe than if fire hoses had been used. Fire sprinkler cleanup follows the same basic steps as any other water damage cleanup scenario:
- Remove standing water using specialized pumps or vacuums.
- Remove all items that cannot be salvaged.
- Dry out remaining moisture using dehumidifiers or fans.
- Restore and replace damaged items.
Although a fire sprinkler can prevent a business fire from doing maximum damage, there will still be some fire damage and water damage from the sprinkler itself. A professional restoration company can get your business back to normal quickly and safely.
3 Important Differences Between Mold and Mildew
Mold can cause serious health issues
If you have experienced water damage or high levels of humidity in your Dunwoody, GA, home, then it is possible you may also have some mold damage. This is a common problem that occurs in many buildings with too much moisture. There are two types of fungal growth that often develop in this case: mold and mildew. It is important to determine which you have, and there are a few key differences that can help you do this.
1. Where It Grows
Mold damage can occur in a variety of environments, so if you have a fungal growth in the building, this is most likely the culprit. It can grow inside walls, furniture, clothing and many other locations. Mildew, on the other hand, is more common on plants. It can sometimes be found on other organic materials, however, such as paper, leather and wood.
2. What It Looks Like
Mildew and mold growth will develop distinct appearances, which can make it easier to tell them apart. Mold can come in a variety of colors, from black to green, and often has a fuzzy appearance. It can grow in a large infestation and cover significant areas of the home. The appearance of mildew is more powdery and is limited to a gray or white color. It usually grows in smaller patches.
3. How Difficult It Is to Remove
Another big difference between these two types of fungus is how difficult it is to remove them from your home. Mold is invasive and will often spread beneath the surface of the material it is growing on. Mildew growth remains on the surface which makes it much easier to get rid of. Scrubbing it with an antibacterial cleaner is often enough.
If you have a fungal growth in your home, particularly if it involves mold damage, you will need a professional to remove it. A mold remediation company can inspect your home to find all areas of growth before removing it safely and thoroughly.
How To Prevent Mold Growth In Your Bathroom
The best way to get air moving in your bathroom is to install a fan
How To Prevent Mold Growth In Your Bathroom
Your bathroom is the perfect breeding ground for mold and mildew mainly due to the presence of all the conditions that are needed for them to thrive. High humidity levels are often present in bathrooms, but that’s not the only cause of bathroom mold. Poor ventilation, water damage and damp materials can also cause mold to grow.
Get the Air Circulating
Air circulation is paramount in preventing mold growth. The best way to get air moving in your bathroom is to install a fan. A bathroom fan sucks the moisture from the environment and out of your home. Properly maintaining your fan ensures you get the most out of keeping your bathroom moisture free. Leave it running after your shower until all the mirrors are defogged for the best results.
Keep the Bathroom Clean
Water damage is not the only source of mold. Simple mold prevention can be done by keeping an eye on cleanliness in the bathroom. This means timely changing of linens which when left damp for too long becomes a breeding ground for mold. Towels, bath mats and rugs should be laundered regularly – at least once per week.
Keeping a squeegee handy can also be very useful in managing the lingering moisture in your shower. Run a squeegee across your walls after every shower or bath to prevent moisture from stagnating and developing into mold or mildew.
Watch Out For Leaks
Lastly, avoid water damage and mold growth by keeping an eye on your faucets, shower and toilet for any leaks that might spring due to wear and tear. Fixing leaks immediately greatly reduce the chance of mold developing in your bathroom.
Your home in North Atlanta,GA, deserves the best care. Putting these simple tips in action can go a long way toward making sure your home maintains a safe and comfortable living environment. Of course, if mold gets the best of you, don’t be afraid contact a mold remediation expert in your area for a consultation.
What To Know About Mold Prevention in Your Place of Business
Leaky pipes can create the environment in which fungi grows best
When you have a business in Perimeter Center,GA, then mold prevention may be on the list of your maintenance needs. To properly prevent mold there are a few things you may need to know about it. Continue reading to learn more.
1. What Mold Is
One of the most important things to understand about mold growth is that mold spores are fungal in nature, and prefer to grow in wet or humid environments. They usually feed on organic compounds such as paper, wood, cloth, or drywall. They also grow better in darker areas. Fortunately, while mold does grow in colonies, the growth rate is rather slow, making it easy for a professional to catch and mitigate the problem.
2. What Causes Mold
In many cases knowing what mold prevention steps to take can be helped by knowing what the possible causes of mold spore growth are. Water damage such as a flooded area, or leaky pipe can create the environment in which this fungi grows best. If you have areas that have been damaged by water it's best to get them repaired as quickly as possible to help prevent problems.
3. What to Do About Mold
If you do find mold in your place of business then you may want to contact a mold remediation professional. These professionals can help you locate any potential problem areas, check for additional damage, and remove the problem. If you're unsure if mold is growing on the property, your chosen professional may also have several tests they can perform in order to be sure. They may also be able to recommend some potential mitigation steps to help prevent further issues.
When it comes to mold prevention at your place of business, it's important to know what mold is, what the potential growth causes are, and what you can do about any mold you may find. Fortunately, if you do find spores on your property a professional may be able to help.
4 Reasons To Pretest Damage
While some damage may be obvious after a disaster, other types of primary and secondary damage may not be apparent without close examination. Preliminary tests may identify the presence of soot or smoke damage in portions of a structure that were not directly affected by fire or identify hidden water damage that could lead to mold. Here are four reasons why clients and insurers should request pretesting.
1. More Complete Estimates
Early testing can increase the accuracy of an estimate. This is particularly the case if a property owner or insurance agent plans to rely on a single service for mitigation and restoration. An estimate based on more extensive knowledge of the type and degree of damage that is present will be more complete.
2. Expedited Mitigation
Preliminary tests can also speed up the mitigation process. Damage cleanup professionals need to determine which issues are present and take measures to limit and begin to address damage in a timely manner. Pretesting goes beyond a basic assessment to identify all of the types of damage a commercial property has sustained.
3. Thorough Restoration
Increased awareness of the full extent of damage can limit the severity and result in a more successful restoration job. Professionals can provide the expertise and equipment necessary to get the job done right. This is particularly the case with a one-stop mitigation and restoration shop.
4. Lower Insurance Claims
An accurate initial estimate can help clients and insurers avoid surprises later in the restoration process that can significantly increase an insurance claim. Agents and adjusters should rely on a service that makes it easy to access estimates and compare claims based on the type of damage and location.
Pretesting damage allows for a more accurate initial assessment and estimate. Commercial clients and insurers should request preliminary testing services from a mitigation and restoration company in Dekalb, GA.
The SERVPRO Disaster Recovery Team
SERVPRO of Dunwoody, GA, faster to any size disaster.
There are times that extremely thorough storm response is required from a damage restoration company in Dunwoody,GA. Major weather-related disasters can be hard for a local service to handle alone. Luckily, SERVPRO is different in that its corporate team is ready to help local franchises with disaster recovery in severe situations.
Prepared for Any Storm
SERVPRO corporate is ready to help local Dunwoody,GA, teams during blizzards, tornadoes, floods and other disasters by sending crucial disaster equipment that would otherwise not be present at these smaller local franchises. Here are some of the infamous disasters from recent history where SERVPRO corporate professionals and local Catastrophic Storm Response Teams around the country provided much-needed emergency storm services:
- Hurricane Katrina in 200
- California wildfires in 2007
- Chicago floods in 2007
- Hurricane Ike in 2008
- Nashville floods in 201
- Hurricane Sandy in 201
- Polar Vortex in 2014
- Carolina floods in 2015
- Hurricane Irma in 2017
- California wildfires in 2017
SERVPRO is uniquely equipped with temporary labor teams, production professionals, large-loss experts and specialized managers who are ready to help in whatever way needed when a monstrous storm hits and necessitates fast and efficient disaster recovery.
Faster to Any Size Disaster
Whether a storm is large or small, SERVPRO’s 1700 franchise employees and corporate teams are ready at a moment’s notice to help with storm damage assessment, restoration and remediation. Whether a massive flood suddenly takes over or a violent wildfire starts to spread, SERVPRO technicians are ready to do whatever they can to help restore normalcy and peace. It is not always easy for anyone or any organization involved in disaster recovery to know what the best plan of action is to pursue, but SERVPRO teams use their experience and skills to take every possible action in to do the right thing at the right time. They are always Here to Help.
Three Reasons Why You Should Start the Fire Restoration Process Right Away
Fire and smoke damage in a Chamblee, GA home
3 Reasons To Act Right Away!
If you’ve just experienced a fire in your home in Chamblee, GA, then the sight of your house might make you feel like your life will never be the same again. While loss is inevitable in a large fire, a team of fire damage specialists can often take your damaged home and restore it to its original condition. While fire damage cleaning can be very effective in saving your home and preserving many of your items, it is imperative for the following three reasons that you act right away!
1. Lingering Smoke Causes Further Damage to Your Home
Smoke is extremely detrimental to the structure and appearance of your home. Staining, warping, corrosion, and a strong smoky odor will all occur as smoke makes its way through your home. Electronics also become hazardous and damaged when affected by smoke. To quickly restore items and structures affected by smoke damage before they become unrepairable, prompt action by a trained professional is essential.
2. The Structure of Your Home Can Collapse
When the fire restoration company arrives at your home, one of the first precautionary actions they’ll take after inspecting the damage is to secure your home. This makes the environment safer for everyone inside and prevents further damage from occurring. Boarding up walls and windows and placing a tarp on fire damaged roofs is the main method used.
3. Further Water Damage and Mold Growth Can Occur
If standing water is left in your home for an extended period of time after a fire occurs, there will be extensive damage to the structure of your home and mold will start to grow on wet surfaces. The sooner you start the fire restoration process the more effective you’ll be at preventing mold growth and water damage from occurring.
While the condition of your home post-fire can be an extremely overwhelming site to see, fire restoration specialists have the expertise and skills necessary to get your home back to normal. Prevent further damage by contacting them right away!
Smoke Residue in Electronics
Smoke damage on electronics in Dunwoody, GA
Safety and Manitenance Tips
A commercial fire in Dunwoody,GA, might have a number of invisible effects that you or your staff wouldn’t ordinarily consider. Review the following safety and maintenance tips in order to prevent unnecessary additional property damage such as an electrical fire.
1. The Effects of Smoke
While the damage may not be obvious initially, electronics can suffer from a number of different malfunctions as a result of smoke damage. The soot and residues that accumulate on conductive materials such as copper or circuit boards can cause shorts if the airborne contaminants from the fire were themselves electrically conductive. Acids in the soot can degrade metal contact points over time, even if there was no initial loss in functionality. Perhaps most importantly, an insulating layer of smoke can cause heat retention in some devices, resulting in a potential electrical fire.
2. Initial Steps
The best preventative measures you can take after a fire event are related to data and documentation rather than restoration. Make an inventory of all affected devices for insurance purposes. If the device was involved in handling information, such as a computer, make any necessary data backups on a separate hard drive or another form of non-volatile memory. Every device that is not absolutely essential to business operations should be disconnected to await computer cleanup.
3. Professional Help
Do not attempt to clean or repair any electronic devices yourself. Contact a qualified fire restoration service to begin the removal of smoke from your sensitive equipment. This is especially true of larger appliances, as these can present a safety hazard when opened. A professional service can mitigate these risks and is more likely to be able to repair your electronics, which will save your business money in the long run.
The modern business requires a number of different electronic devices to stay functional. Prevent an electrical fire or other catastrophe by having a plan to restore or replace the necessary parts of your infrastructure.
3 Reasons Not to Bleach Mold
Mold damage in Chamblee,GA
Avoid using Chlorine or Oxygen Formulas To Clean Up Mold
Business owners or tenants who spot mold growing in a commercial property may consider using bleach for fungus cleanup. This method is not the most effective way to eliminate the presence of mold and prevent colonies from returning. Here are three reasons to avoid using either chlorine or oxygen formulas for the purpose of cleaning up mold.
1. It Cannot Eliminate Mold in Porous Materials
The ionic structures of these cleaning solutions are incapable of penetrating porous materials. For this reason, chlorine and oxygen solutions are not suitable for eliminating mold from carpet, drywall, or upholstery.
Bleach is useful for sanitizing non-porous surfaces, but it will not eliminate the root structure of mold growth. If the conditions that allowed mold to grow persists, colonies are likely to return in spite of fungus cleanup efforts.
2. It Is Corrosive
A chlorine-based cleaning solution is very harsh and corrosive. This cleaning solution is known to irritate the eyes, skin, and lungs. This formula can also irreparably damage delicate fibers and cause other materials to deteriorate. Furthermore, it may produce harmful dioxins.
Oxygen-based formulations do not contain phosphorous or nitrogen and are natural, biodegradable, and less likely to cause deterioration. Even though these solutions may be preferable to chlorine, neither substance is the best choice for dealing with mold. These solutions are also not suitable for use on metallic surfaces.
3. It Quickly Loses Strength
A sealed bottle of this cleaning solution can lose up to 50% of its effectiveness while sitting on a shelf for only 90 days. Oxygen-based products may be more useful for deodorizing and killing bacteria and fungi, but these formulations lose effectiveness even more quickly than chlorine solutions.
These are just three reasons not attempt to use any form of bleach to clean up mold. For the most effective fungus cleanup results, contact mitigation and restoration professionals based in Chamblee,GA.
How Do You Flood Proof a House?
Flooded home in Dunwoody,GA
Flood damage may seem inevitable. Even if your home is located on a flood plain or near the coast, there are several measures you can take to increase flood safety and flood proof a residence in Dunwoody,GA.
Outdoor Flood Proofing
There are several retrofitting measures that may reduce the severity of flooding:
- Adjust the grading or slope of your property so water will drain away from the foundation
- Apply sealing treatments to exterior walls
- Anchor and elevate HVAC units, fuel tanks, and generators
If flooding is a frequent problem, consider investing in foundation vents that allow water to flow through the base of your home.
Indoor Flood Proofing
You may want to consider a combination of preventative and flood safety measures inside. If the municipal sewer system or septic tank at your residence back up, you should consider installing preventative valves.
- A backflow valve can keep sewer water from flooding your home
- A gate valve can provide a stronger seal than a check valve or flap valve
If flooding is on the forecast, you should take immediate action.
- Raise circuit breakers, sockets, switches, and wires
- Situate powered connections at least a foot above the anticipated flood level
- Elevate appliances and contents
You should also keep basic safety tips in mind. Exercise care when switching off electricity, particularly if this involves crossing standing water. All of these measures may limit the extent of flood damage.
You may also want to obtain materials to prevent water from penetrating your house. Keep burlap bags, sand, and shovels on hand or invest in re-usable sandbag alternatives.
If a flood affects your home, focus primarily on flood safety. Trying to flood proof a structure is less important than staying safe in the event of a disaster. Rely on a water and storm damage mitigation company to restore your residence in Dunwoody,GA.